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Category Archives for Cleaning

Fight Laundry Stains with Biz

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

As a mom, I deal with stains every single day.

When I given the opportunity to try out Biz stain fighter, I was happy to put it to the test.

I had stains of all types to fight: mud, grass, food, baby blowouts, you name it.

Here is just one example of one of the stains I worked on (or that Biz worked on for me).

I know, I know.  I just had to show you the grossest one!

Fight Stains with Biz

After treatment with Biz:

Fight Stains with Biz

 

You can see that it worked quite well.  Biz contains more stain fighting ingredients than other types of stain fighters.  It contains ingredients to combat all 4 types of stains: protein-based stains, inks and dyes, brightening/whitening, and granular stains like mud and dirt.

Although the instructions say to use Biz by adding it to a load of wash, or to wet the area with warm water and apply Biz for 30 minutes before washing, I found a favorite way to use it that worked well for me.  If something got stained I would immediately put it into a bucket of warm water and add Biz.  That way I could allow the garment to soak in the stain fighting power without having to remember to come back and wash it in 30 minutes.  I could get it into the wash whenever I happened to make my way back into the laundry room.

I had the opportunity to use it on a wide variety of stains.

For instance, my little girl smeared peanut butter all over a white shirt.  After treatment with Biz, it came out whiter than ever.

Another time my little man got grass stain and mud on a pair of tan pants.  The grass stain came out without a trace, which surprised me as that is usually one of the toughest stains to fight.  On the other hand, the mud did not come out nearly as well.

My overall opinion was that although there are certain types of stains that Biz had a harder time fighting, the ones that it fought well were fought extremely well.

Take a look at where to buy Biz and be sure to be on the lookout for the new look:

Fight stains with Biz

You can also save $1 on Biz with a printable coupon!

Be sure to connect with Biz on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for lots of stain fighting goodness.

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Happy Lost Sock Day: Putting Lonely Socks to Useful Purposes

Guest post from Imperfect Homemaker contributor, Andrea.


Lost Sock Day jpg

 

Did you know that there was a holiday for missing socks?  Neither did I!  But let me tell you – I have lots of experience with missing socks!  My family does not have a washer and dryer in our urban apartment, so we utilize the laundry mat.  And nearly without fail, we come home with at least one mate-less sock.  I think this quote sums it up for me:

                “I have come to the conclusion that dryer lint is the cremated remains of all my missing socks.”

Or perhaps you can relate to this one:

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Whatever the reason, I’m sure we all have some missing socks in our homes!  I always hate to throw away those perfectly good socks, just because their mate is M.I.A..  So what can we do to put lonely socks to useful purposes?  A quick search on Pinterest revealed many ideas.  Here is a list of the best ideas I found, and a few of my own ideas too!

Children:

  • Make a Sock Fishing Game:  Basically, you stick a heavy duty magnet down in the toe of a baby/child’s sock, then stuff it (with paper, fabric, etc.).  Tie up the ends, decorate it, and you have an adorable homemade fishing game that the kids will love!  I made this with my kids and shared it on my blog here.
  • Sock Puppets:  Put a few miscellaneous craft supplies to use and get creative with your kids making sock puppets!
  • Foxtails:  You know – those balls with a tail?  Stick a tennis ball in a lonely tube sock, tie with a hair rubber band, and go play in the back yard!  If you want more information on Foxtails, check out this link.
  • Baby Doll Socks: My daughter loves to dress her baby doll in real baby clothes – the ones left over from her siblings.  Give the mismatched baby socks to your kids to dress up their dolls or stuffed animals.  (As long as your child is not OCD about matching).
  • Dog Toy: Not exactly for your kids, unless they like to play with the dog.  As a kid I used to tie knots in old socks to make a tug-o-war rope for the dogs.

Crafts:

You can make all kinds of crafts with lonely socks!  Here are a few ideas to get you started (and there are many variations on Pinterest!)

Household:

  • Bottle Sleeve: Use a lonely sock to insulate your water bottle in the summer.  It will absorb the “sweat” from your bottle and keep items in your bag/purse dry!
  • Suitcase Organization:  My family is on deputation for missionary work right now, and we are doing a lot of traveling.  There are always tiny items getting lost in the abyss of the suitcase.  Use various sized lonely socks to organize everything from jewelry, to belts and accessories, to kids’ bow ties and hair bows.  I can’t wait to put this idea to use on our next trip!
  • Dusting:  Slide a sock over your hand and dust away.  This would be especially helpful when using furniture polish.  I use Scotts Liquid Gold on my wood furniture, but I hate touching the rag and getting the oils all over my skin.  You could also make a reusable Swiffer-type duster out of old socks.
  • Shoe Polishing: You can use mate-less socks to polish your shoes.  When they are worn out, toss them in the garbage and start over with another lonely sock!
  • Shipping:  Use socks to pack valuables for shipping or moving.  You could place glasses and stemware into the sock itself, or use the socks to pack around items in a box.
  • GPS/Electronic Protector: We do not leave our GPS in the windshield because it invites theft.  We have had our car window broken twice since moving to Brooklyn; in each case something electronic was the target.  One time we think they were looking for the GPS because the glove box had been emptied.  However, I stored my GPS in a cosmetic bag in the side door, and so the thief came up empty handed.  You could use a lonely sock to protect electronics such as your GPS, and “camouflage” them at the same time!
  • Soap Exfoliator: Slide a bar of soap into a mate-less sock and wash the car, the bathtub, or even yourself.  The sock will exfoliate the soap suds!

My last tip comes from personal experience.  These are ideas are great for using those lonely socks.  But it may be better to prevent the missing sock epidemic from happening in the first place.  I throw all of my kids’ socks into a mesh laundry bag prior to heading to the laundry mat. img_6112

I wash and dry them in the bag.  They are usually still damp after going through a dry cycle this way.  When I get home I spread them all over the dining room table to air dry overnight, and then I mate them and put them away in the morning.  It has been mostly successful for me thus far!

So go out and celebrate Lost Sock Day.  Make a craft.  Dust your house.  But if you can't find any of these ideas useful, then please throw away those mate-less socks and and at least be clutter free!

Tools for Homemaking Productivity

I struggle with keeping things clean and orderly.  My brain is constantly bursting with ideas, and I tend to be a little “ADDish”, flitting from one thing to the next and making a bunch of messes as I go.

(I named this blog Imperfect Homemaker for a reason!)

Anything to help my days be a little more productive is a big plus!

Here are some of the tools I use on a daily basis to help me have a little more accomplishment to show at the end of the day:

 

Tools for Homemaking Productivity

1. Clothes. 

That would be as opposed to PJ's or loungewear.  You'll get more done when you wear real clothes, I promise.  When you wear PJ's or loungewear all day, you just feel like…well…lounging.  Not good for productivity.  (If you need some clothes at a good price, you should check out Thredup.  It's like an online thrift store, which is great for this busy mom who doesn't have time to drag her kids to a real thrift store.  Plus, you get a free $10 credit to spend when you sign up through my referral link here.)

Free $10 credit to Thredup

2. Shoes.

Not just any shoes.  Sneakers. (I actually grew up calling them tennis shoes.  What do you call them?  Oh, wait.  I'm getting distracted again.  Back to the point.)

If you put shoes on your feet, it helps you walk faster and get things done more quickly.  Plus you don't ever have to stop and clean crumbs out of your toes or nurse a throbbing foot because you stepped on a lego.

Your shoes should be ultra-comfortable so that you can wear them all day long.  I have these, and they have been one of the best purchases I've ever made.  These are the most comfortable shoes for all-day wear I've ever owned.

Saucony Hurricane 14 - my favorite shoe ever!

 

3. Music

Listening to fast-paced music helps keep me going.  And it's nice to have Christ-honoring music to think about as I work too.  Old Christian Radio plays a lot of faster-paced music, and many of the songs on the CD that my husband and I recorded are fast-paced as well.

Old-fashioned, Christ-honoring sacred music

 

4. Rags and cleaners

Keeping rags and a bottle of cleaner in multiple places throughout the house makes my job a lot easier.  Whenever someone spills something or makes a potty-training mess on the bathroom floor, I have what I need right at hand to clean it up immediately.  I use my homemade non-toxic disinfectant as an all-purpose cleaner.  It works so well for just about everything.

homemade non-toxic disinfecant

5. Air fresheners

There is something about things smelling clean that makes me want to keep things clean.

I'm sure this makes me a healthy living heretic, but I absolutely LOVE the smell of Downy Unstopables.  When I'm walking through the laundry room I just want to stay there because it smells so good!  (Does anyone know of a natural way to make the laundry smell that good?  I hate using the chemicals on my clothes, and I try not to do it terribly often, but it just smells oh-so-good!  And no, adding lavender drops to the wash is not a valid suggestion.  It's fine, but just not the blow-me-away awesome smell that the Downy is.  If you're awesome with essential oils and you have a recipe that you think will blow me away, I'd love for you to share!)

 

6. A Menu Plan

There is something about knowing at the beginning of the day what I am having for dinner that makes the entire day go more smoothly.

Sometimes I drop the ball and end up scrambling at dinner time.  Not fun.  But even more often than that, I get in a rut with meals.  We end up having the same things over and over because I am just too tired to try to think of interesting meals.

I just discovered the coolest menu planning program.  Really, really cool.

It's called Build a Menu.  You choose the store where you normally shop, and then you're given recipe options for all different eating styles (for example: Clean Eating, Gluten Free, Budget Friendly, even Trim Healthy Mama!)

If you want to see exactly how it looks in action, take a look at this post.

The thing that makes Build a Menu so cool is that you get to decide what you want to make.  Many menu planners give you a pre-made menu, but then it ends up being nothing that you or your family would like.  With this you simply look through the recipes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts are all included!) and mark the checkboxes beside the ones you want to have that week.  Boom!  Your menu and shopping list are done, and it's exactly what you want to eat!

 

Which of these tools do you need to start using?  What would you add to this list that helps you be more productive at home?

 

 

 

Need Some Homemaking Motivation?

 

Homemaking Motivation

Last Friday I live posted on the Facebook page different assignments to help you get your house in tip-top shape for the weekend.  We all worked together and got our homes clean in a hurry!

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the challenge, so we decided to create a group to keep each other on our toes to keep our homes clean and organized.

If you need some accountability in this area, come join us!  We have a new habit to work on every two weeks, as well as a focused project to complete each week.

Click here to join the group.

 

 

 

It’s Time for Spring Cleaning!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

Dollar General Spring Cleaning

I was so excited when Dollar General gave me a kick in the pants to get started on my Spring Cleaning!  I had plenty that needed to be done around the house, and when they challenged me to shop for cleaning products and try them out in my house, I was happy to take them up on it.

Although I still have plenty of cleaning to do, here's what I got done in just a couple hours yesterday (a record for me since I usually get interrupted abot 4,682 times while I'm cleaning!)

The first thing I picked up at Dollar General was trash bags.  I do lots of purging while I'm spring cleaning, so I knew I would need lots of trash bags to remove trash, and to carry unused items up to the attic.

I honestly was a little bit skeptical of how the Dollar General trash bags would do.  I've purchased off-brand trash bags before and been pretty sorry about that decision.  But after I loaded up the baby's clothes that she has grown out of (sniff, sniff) into one of the bags, I realized that I would not regret buying the Dollar General bags.  Score #1 for Dollar General.

dollar general trash bags

 

Next, I had quite a bit of scrubbing to do.  My daughter has been quite creative lately with the crayons, as you can see below.  The Dollar General super erasers took the lighter colors off without any effort.  The dark blue required me to scrub very hard, and I haven't fully removed it because my arm was killing me!  I'm not sure if the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers would take off the dark colors any easier than the Dollar General erasers did.  I think the best solution will be to make sure my little girl doesn't get ahold of crayons in her room again!

Dollar General super eraser

 

 

Then it was time for lunch.  While the kids were eating, I washed up a few dishes.  I had been using Ajax dish soap, which I hate, but my husband does the shopping for me, and he buys whatever is cheapest.  I like the Dollar General dish soap much better.  It was thicker and more sudsy.  It's not the best I've ever used, but it was much, much better than the Ajax, and still an inexpensive option.

Dollar General dish soap

 

After lunch, I headed to the bedroom to do some (long overdue) dusting.  I usually use a Swiffer duster because it makes the dusting go really quickly.  I actually thought the Dollar General duster worked better than the Swiffer brand!

Dollar General Duster

 

 

We have a lot of laminate wood floors in the house, and many times the quickest way to get them clean is to run over them with the Swiffer sweeper dry cloths.  I found the Dollar General brand dry cloth refills while I was at the store, so I decided to give them a try.  They did the job, but I didn't feel that they worked quite as well as the Swiffer brand.  If price is an issue, they're a good alternative that will work almost as well.

Dollar General floor cloth

 

Our bathroom gets that scummy pink gunk so quickly!  I just read the other day that it tends to be a lot worse if you have well water (which we do.)  That makes feel a little less like a disgusting slob.  I grabbed a canister of the Dollar General disinfectant wipes because they were a great price.  It's hard to see in the picture, but it removed the pink gunk very easily.  I like keeping these wipes under the bathroom sink for those “little boy messes” in the bathroom.  I thought the wipes were a great buy for a price.  Dollar General disinfectant wipes

 

I had boiled over some potatoes on the stove (not that I do that very often), and the stains would not scrub off.  The Dollar General soap pads worked great!  I was kicking myself for not picking some up earlier.

Dollar General soap pads

 

Remember the pink gunk?  It shows up all the time in the toilet too.  Eww, gross, I know.  I tend to be a little unconventional with how I clean my toilet.  I don't normally buy toilet bowl cleaner; I just use whatever soap happens to be nearest to me.  I decided to give the dish soap a try.  I loved it!  It made the water so sudsy and gave me some good scrubbing action.  Dollar General dish soap

 

 

And I often scrub the pink gunk on the tub the same way as the toilet – using whatever soap happens to be nearby.  The dish soap worked great on that too!Dollar General dish soap

 

I have a lot more cleaning to do (with 4 little ones, it's pretty much never-ending), but I got a good start.  Seeing things clean motivates me to clean even more!

 

Have you started your spring cleaning yet?  What projects do you need to tackle?

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How to Declutter your Home in 7 Easy Steps

Does your home always look messy, even though you feel like you're always cleaning?  Perhaps you should consider whether you have too much clutter in your home.  By saying that, I'm not suggesting that you're some kind of hoarder or slob.  But sometimes, the size of a person's house is just too small for the amount of things that are in there, and it creates a look of constant disorder.  You may need to scale back to the absolute minimum of what you need to live in order to keep things looking neat in your house.

Learn how to declutter your home in 7 easy steps.

How To Declutter - great step-by-step instructions!

1. Start with the worst offenders.  The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house, and consequently are usually the rooms that collect clutter the fastest.  It's easy to dump stuff on a kitchen counter or toss it on the couch or coffee table when you walk in the door.  Remove anything that does not belong in these rooms, and train yourself to put things completely away when you come in the door.  If you're having a hard time breaking the habit of dropping stuff as you come in the door, purchase some stylish baskets to keep near the door of those rooms.  Make it your goal to keep the baskets empty by putting things where they belong.  If you forget, at least the clutter will be contained and won't be such an eyesore.

2. Go through every room in the house (one at a time) and remove everything from drawers and cabinets.  This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around.

3. Divide every item into categories.  You can use heavy duty trash bags or boxes for this part.  Everything that you find should go into a category: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE.  Items that will stay in that room are to keep.  Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away.  Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated.  Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.

4. Do not start a new room until you have completely finished the previous room.  Once you have decided what will stay in that room, place items in the drawer or cabinet where you want them.  Throw away the trash, put the donate box in the car so it can be taken care of right away, and place the relocate box in the next room in which you will be working.

5.  Do not completely fill your spaces.  Get rid of enough stuff to leave extra room in your drawers and cabinets.  If every space is filled to maximum capacity, you will constantly be knocking things over as you get things in and out of the drawer or cabinet.  (Tupperware avalanche, anyone?)  Leave plenty of room to get things in and out while keeping them neat.

6. Keep as much as possible out of sight.  Even with only the essentials remaining in a room, things can still look cluttered when you have random items sitting out in full view.  Use attractive containers or baskets whenever possible to keep everything contained and out of sight.

7. Once you have successfully removed clutter from every room in the house, implement the “One in, one out” rule.  (Every time something new comes into the house, something else has to go.)  This will keep your house from becoming full of too many things and creating the need to declutter all over again.

What did I miss?  What are your best tips for decluttering and keeping your house organized?

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